MOE signs contracts to digitize public schools, offices

NASSAU, BAHAMAS  – The Ministry of Education on Sunday signed two million-dollar contracts with Cable Bahamas Ltd and Sam’s Business Machines, which will benefit 43 schools and 14 district offices in Grand Bahama and Eleuthera.

The contract with Cable Bahamas Ltd, in the amount of $750,000 annually, will facilitate a fibre optic technology upgrade throughout the public-school sector on Grand Bahama and Eleuthera.

The Sam’s Business Machines contract, which totalled $1.9 million dollars annually, will allow the company to supply 12,000 tablets, 578 projectors and 578 laptops for teachers and students at the pre-primary and lower primary levels.

The million-dollar technology upgrade for public schools was launched last September 9th when a $1.2 million annual contract was signed with The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to lay fibre optic cables to facilitate a number of public schools, satellite offices and other education buildings.

Yesterday’s press conference marked a continuation of phase one of the Ministry of Education’s technology upgrade.

Education Minister Jeffery Lloyd said the signing of both contracts with Cable Bahamas and Sam’s Business Machines will result in an improved technical infrastructure at government schools; linking all districts, public schools and satellite offices in Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education.

Lloyd said once phase one is completed, the MOE will move on to its second phase with the implementation of a comprehensive, education management information system, commonly referred to as EMIS.

The EMIS system is expected to manage student enrollment and communication between parents, teachers and administration. It will also assist guidance counsellors with information management, serve as a planning tool for teachers, and will help with human resource management at each school.

Chief Operating Officer at Cable Bahamas, John Gomez said they are ready to execute the upgrade as it marks a significant move for the country.

Meanwhile, Lloyd said once work on these two remaining islands have been completed, BTC and Cable Bahamas would have prepared 172 schools, 60 satellite offices, over 50,000 public school students and 4,000 teachers within the public school system for a world class, first class, public school digital educational experience.

According to Minister Lloyd, by the end of this digitization process, all government schools will be “smart” schools.

The process, he said, is expected to take some 12 months.

Also present at yesterday’s signing was Director of Education Marcellus Taylor, Acting Deputy Director of Education for Technology and Innovation Julian Anderson, other executives from the Ministry along with representatives from Cable Bahamas Ltd. and Sam’s Business Machines.